Tuesday 3 May 2022

Impressionist Scenery...

Well, it's been about two years since my last post on this blog, so going on my performance over the last ten years or so, it must be time for a new post!

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I was, at the time, about to retire from the editorship of AMRM. Hard to believe that was nearly two years ago... being retired is great!

In that time I have been steadily working away on Lambing Flat and it is now 'complete' (though far from finished), just in time for it to be dismantled and moved to a new location! In early 2021 I purchased a very pleasant 'retirement' home in Cowra, NSW, (yes, Lambing Flat is going (almost) 'home'!) and after many delays, mainly caused by the various Covid lockdowns and the severe shortage of tradies, I am finally ready to move in. The date has been set and by the 1st August, I, Lambing Flat and Leo the Blunderdog should be happily setting up in our new home.

Now, with the preliminaries out of the way, we come for the reason (excuse!) for this post. While I have expanded the layout and completed most of the scenery, there were a couple of areas that had not progressed beyond the track and carved foam stage of scenery construction. With the move rapidly approaching and my realisation that those particular sections would not fit in the new space, there was no point to finishing them, but the bare foam was very jarring and detracted from the 'look' of the rest of the layout. What to do... then came the 'lightbulb' moment... I remembered Marcus Ammann's rather clever use of 'impressionistic' scenery on some parts of his very extensive layout and how effective it was. So I thought, why not just use my acrylic artist's paints (used for the 2D backscenes) to quickly apply some colour to the 3D sections as well! I splashed a bit of paint around one Sunday afternoon and the results can be seen in the accompanying photos (and the header photo). It may not be as detailed as finished scenery, but it doesn't ruin the illusion as much as unfinished scenery does. 

One of the sections that were unfinished, linking the mill scene and the stockyard end of Lambing Flat station, across the short end of the garage. The header photo shows the same scene after painting.

This is the unfinished section between the mill scene and Bulla Creek yard in 2020. I was not happy with the track arrangements and it won't fit in the new space anyway.

The same view, taken about an hour ago. Since the first photo was taken, the hill to the right of the main line has been reduced in height and the section of hill between the main line and the loco depot has been removed. The water tank has also been finished (more on that below). Once more, while not as good looking as finished scenery, it gives an impression of scenery and blends in far better than it did in the earlier view.

Another view of the 'impressionist' section with some 'real' scenery behind along Back Creek.

I've come to the conclusion that this is a very quick and effective method of 'filling in the gaps' of an incomplete layout and will be doing this to unfinished sections in future until I can schedule the time to apply more detailed scenery.

As mentioned above, the NSWGR water tank I was building in the previous post has now been completed. Here are some images of it.

By 16th May 2020, the water tank looked like this. The base colour is an airbrushed coat of Tamiya XF-24 Dark Grey. The concrete footings and the drain were hand painted with Top Coat 'Concrete' colour, while the ends of the water crane were picked out with black and the silver section hand-painted Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminium. Weathering consisted of various 'washes' of very dilute in isocol alcohol Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown, XF-52 Flat Earth and black. The plywood base was painted an earth brown and then a light covering of my 'earth' and 'ash' dirt mix, plus a bit of green scatter material, glued on as per my normal scenery making method. Then I had to gradually pour layers of Woodland Scenics Realistic Water to represent the water. What a saga that turned out to be...

Ten months after the previous photo the water pour had finally been completed! I first spent a month carefully pouring layer after layer of Woodlands Scenic Realistic Water, but I wasn't completely happy with the final result. The Realistic Water was easy to pour (just time consuming as one can only pour a couple of millimetres at a time, wait a day for it to dry then pour another couple of mm), but, in this circumstance, it manifested a terrible meniscus that was quite unsightly. By the end of June 2020 I has reached the top of the tank, but the water wasn't level at all, with that unsightly meniscus showing everywhere the 'water' came into contact with anything. I tried painting the 'humps' a greenish hue to disguise it as algae, which did alleviate the problem a little. As mentioned earlier, I wasn't happy with it, but I couldn't think of any way to improve it, so I just placed it on the layout and got on with other things.
After a couple of months of not going out to the layout room for various reasons, I came back to find that the water had shrunk about 7-8mm below the original surface and looked even worse!
At first I experimented with adding layers of Feast Watson Decking Oil obtained from Bunnings (I had used all the Realistic Water I had, plus I wasn't happy with the result from using it anyway). This worked for a couple of layers, giving a nice dirty water effect, but then the surface started to 'wrinkle', long before I reached the needed 'top' of the water.
Ah well, looks like I'd have to get some more Realistic Water and just put up with the substandard result... However, a trip to MRRC at Blacktown revealed that they had sold out of Realistic Water and weren't going to be able to get any more any time soon (the supply chain had been completely disrupted by the COVID epidemic). They did have some Woodlands Scenic Deep Pour Water however, so I decided to give it a go.
I wish I had used this stuff to start with! It is very easy to use, can pour much thicker layers and has a much smaller and less obtrusive meniscus. I'm now very happy with the look of the 'water' and the tank has been on the layout ever since. Now, my only frustration is that all that intricate interior detail I spent so much time putting in the tank is all but invisible under the water!

Another shot of the completed tank.

That's it for this post; see you in two years!


Wednesday 6 May 2020

Building a standard NSWGR 40,000 gallon locomotive water tank

Yes, it has been a while since I wrote anything in this blog, but I have been a little busy!

Let's see, since my last entry in December 2017, I have:

  • dismantled Lambing Flat and moved house
  • got divorced
  • set up a new household with a new partner and re-erected Lambing Flat in a new configuration!
Do you think that might be a reasonable explanation for the lack of entries?

I haven't been completely idle on the modelling front (other than dismantling and re-erecting a layout!), but I am only going to talk about one project with this post (if you want to see what else I have been up to, just have a look at my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/amrmjmes )

Also, the old configuration of the layout at Beecroft was described in my article in AMRM Issue 340 (February 2020), which describes pretty much all the things that I had promised to outline in here, but never got around to. See the AMRM blog for details of that issue and how to acquire it if you haven't already got a copy.

My latest major modelling project is the construction of a standard NSWGR 40,000 gallon cast iron locomotive water tank to serve the rebuilt and enlarged station at Bulla Creek (the location formerly known as New Yard on the old configuration of the layout at Beecroft).

This came about when I was looking in my unbuilt kit drawer for something else, when I rediscovered a treasure I had forgotten I had! It was a Rails North epoxy and timber kit for an NSWGR 40000 gallon water tank and it had been in there since circa 1983! Well, I did need a loco water tank for the reconfigured Bulla Creek, so I started construction.
Of course, I didn't build it as per instructions (the instructions are typical of the era, not all that helpful or accurate!), but instead used the contents of the kit as a collection of parts to help me scratchbuild the version I actually want. I used Peter Jarvis's excellent articles in AMRM Issues 299 and 300 (April and June 2013) as a guide, as well as various photos and drawings I have access to, particularly images of the tank which once stood at Campbelltown.

The tank was assembled as designed, but the interior was detailed using Peter's articles as a guide. The stand was assembled by gluing the components together using a simple set of lines drawn on some spare paper to keep them all square and in line. The wire rigging was some hard nickel silver wire glued to tensioning rings made from aluminium tube and then glued to the legs of the stand.

The water level gauge was constructed from styrene and brass wire, with some chain from the 'bits' collection. The ladder was some ladder stock I've had in my scrapbox for around 40 years. The inlet pipe was a section of steel bar included in the original kit with a tap fitting from my collection of bits.

The water crane was adapted from a Uneek kit for a standard water column, bending the main column gently to shape to form the 'U' shaped outlet pipe. All the linkages to allow the crew to open the water valve from the back of the tender were formed from brass strip and wire, plus some superglue impregnated paper strips to hold it all together. The drain on the ground was formed from styrene sheet and a section of old Lima LV panelling for the grate.

This image shows the rear of the tank and some the detail of the water crane outlet tap linkage and the rear of the water level gauge and the float.

The model is complete and waiting for an opportunity to be painted, which will hopefully happen in the next couple of days. If not, it may take a bit longer, as I will have to get back to working on preparing the August issue of AMRM, which will be my very last issue. Oh, didn't I mention? I'm retiring at the end of July! The magazine will be in good hands with my replacement being trained up at the moment. If you want to find out who my replacement is, you will have to wait until the June issue of AMRM is released in a couple of weeks!

Thursday 14 September 2017

Another video; shunting the pick-up at Lambing Flat.

This new mobile phone doesn't take a bad video, if I say so myself!

This is a little 'documentary' showing how the pick-up detached some wagons at Lambing Flat. The 55 is definitely running beautifully now. If you can, watch it fullscreen on Youtube to get the best effect.

Monday 11 September 2017

Some videos of Lambing Flat

I have very recently acquired a mobile phone that takes very good videos, so I had to try it out on the layout!

The first video shows 5165 exiting the loop with a goods train headed for Demondrille. The train is comprised mostly of loco coal in U, B, G, LCH and CCH wagons, bound for southern loco depots, plus two empty rail tank cars in transit back to Sydney.

The second video shows recently cleaned 3610 heading in the opposite direction, towards Temora, with a block load of empty stock wagons.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Some of the new 'intrastate' stuff, Pt 1...

The constant deluge of r-t-r rolling stock does make it very easy to fill up the yards with lovely models of the delightfully picturesque wagons that kept the intrastate traffic moving back in the steam/early diesel era in which Lambing Flat is set and quite a few have joined the roster since my last post on the subject some years ago. However, as long term readers will be aware, I don't like things 'straight out of the box'. Before a model will be accepted by the Traffic Officer, Lambing Flat, it has to be weathered, at least! And, while the vast majority of Lambing Flat's new stock is r-t-r, I do occasionally assemble the odd kit or two!

Below are images and brief descriptions of some of the intrastate (ie non-bogie exchange) NSWGR stock that has joined the roster recently.

As with any NSWGR layout set in the wheat growing areas of the state, lots of wheat wagons are essential. I have plenty of four-wheel RU hoppers, courtesy of the old Trax kit and the original Trainorama r-t-r version, but the more modern wheat hoppers have been neglected. A trio of Austrains WHX hoppers were acquired, two as originally delivered and one of the 'Manildra' signwritten models. On the two original condition ones, I replaced the Austrains bogies with the correct type for my period, the 2CE bogies from On Track (and the wheels, as the wheels that come with the On Track bogies are too big). I also altered the wagon number on one of them, as I had somehow managed to acquire two vehicles numbered WHX30756! They were lightly weathered to represent vehicles that have only been in service a short time, as this batch of WHX were delivered in 1971/1973, so fall towards the end of my preferred time period. First I painted the wheels and bogies black, painted the wheel faces Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown and then 'washed' the bogies with the Flat Brown and Aqueous Hobby Color H343 Soot, I painted the brake hoses and Kadee 'tangs' flat black, then I lightly sprayed the body of the vehicle with a very dilute mix of Isocol alcohol and Tamiya XF-52 Flat Earth. Another light coat of Isocol alcohol and Soot tied it all together. Being very 'modern' wagons by Lambing Flat standards, if they are included in a train, the train is more likely than not to be diesel-hauled!

Up until the release of the Trainorama r-t-r BWH hoppers, there was only one BWH on the layout, an AR Kits kit-built and superdetailed model that I completed in the mid-1980s. A trio of Traino r-t-r BWH hoppers were acquired and weathered back when they came out and, more recently, this Powerline version has also joined the fleet. It is straight out of the box and weathered with my usual acrylic paint technique. I really should have changed the handrails on the foot walk to the correct shape, but I'm not going to live forever... It 'disappears' amongst the considerable number of vehicles that now populate the layout, so, I'm not going to mention it if you don't...

No NSWGR post-war layout would be complete without plenty of these little beauties, the ubiquitous S truck. This is just one of the fifteen Austrains/SDS 'ultimate' S trucks that have joined the many, many kit-built versions of this essential wagon on the layout. This one is from the first Austrains batch, which came painted in a very deep black, so I have weathered it to represent the condition of them when they were relatively new, with a worn interior, but a lightly weathered exterior. In the background is, from the left, an Austrains GSV modified to post-war condition, as per Ian Dunn's article, 'Modernise Your GSV', in AMRM Issue 298 (February 2013), an Austrains '1921' CW and a highly modified Camco '1947' CW kit. Next is the end of an MBC, converted from a very old Rails North epoxy MRC kit.

Here are a few more weathered S trucks from the first 'black' Austrains batch, along with a weathered Austrains CW.

This photo shows a better view of the interiors of two of the S trucks, plus a weathered Austrains SRC refrigerated van and lots of stock wagons from a variety of sources.

 And here are a few more, standing in front of some weathered SDS rail tank cars. The COR tank is heavily weathered, but the Golden Fleece version is relatively clean. Believe it or not, the photos of Golden Fleece RTCs I have seen that were taken in the 1960s show them quite clean and bright.

The second batch of Austrains S trucks came with a much greyer paint finish, so that has been utilised to represent S trucks that have been in service longer than those represented by the weathering done on the first batch. Also shown here is a Trainorama K wagon which was weathered at the same time, using my usual acrylic paint technique. Surrounding the newly weathered vehicles are some of the many open wagons on the layout, including r-t-r Traino steel S trucks, kit-built ILM D and BD, plus Trax/Casula S and K wagons and a very old Bergs K wagon (with Dreadnought ends).

Another Austrains S from the second batch, along with a Eureka RSH and Traino K wagon, with Austrains PV explosives van and MV louvred van, all weathered with my acrylic paint and Isocol alcohol method.

An Austrains '1921' CW, plus two Eureka LCH and a CCH four-wheel hopper wagons, stand in front of a rake of stock wagons, including an Austrains '1915' CW and a Silvermaz '1948' CW, heavily modified and backdated to their appearance on delivery, before the extra vertical strengthening timbers were added to the sides.

I'll finish off tonight's post with a couple of stock wagons, starting with this SDS BCW. This has had a canvas (stretched tissue) roof covering added, but otherwise is 'straight out of the box'. It is is pretty good condition, just a little grubby, which is appropriate for Lambing Flat's time period, as these vehicles were introduced in 1959, so were quite new at the time the layout represents. Weathered with my usual 'misted' acrylic techniques.

There are two '1959' BCW bogie cattle wagons on the layout, the modern SDS version shown above and this old Protype kit, constructed back in the early 1980s. Not knowing any better at the time, I had constructed it with a double roof, as per the four-wheelers. I recently took the double roof off and fitted a new canvas covered single roof, as it should be. The new roof was painted and weathered and the body reweathered to blend it all together. Not up to the standard of the SDS version, but not bad for a model for which the masters were constructed in the late 1960s...

A definite relict of the past, an Austrains '1915' CW. While most of these were 'converted' to the '1921' CW specifications during the 1930s and 1940s, at least two soldiered on until 1965/'66! (I've seen them in a video taken at Nyngan.) Weathered with the usual acrylics method.

Last, but not least, is the last of my Austrains GSV sheep wagons to be weathered. It had taken so long (the rest were finished years ago) because I didn't have a replacement GSV roof for this one (they were mistakenly fitted with CW roofs at the factory). I obtained replacement roofs from Austrains for the rest of them, but not for this one, for some reason lost in the depths of time! So, I finally got around to scratchbuilding a new roof (and modifying the model to represent the post-WW2 appearance of the '1927' GSVs, as per Ian Dunn's article 'Modernise your GSV' in AMRM Issue 298 (February 2013). It's late completion also means that it is the only loaded sheep van on the layout, as it has been fitted with some of Ray Pilgrim's 3D printed sheep. The roof was completed very conventionally with strips of timber and styrene, with corrugated aluminium for the roof itself. Weathering was by my standard Acrylic paint method, with a combination of washes and drybrushing to get the base elements, with the whole thing then airbrushed with light coats of 'misted' colour to tie it all together.

There are still quite a few to describe, but that will have to be in a future post...

Wednesday 16 August 2017

That damned 'Pig'!

When I last mentioned 3607, my modified Austrains roundtop 'Pig' back in November 2014, all was not well, a situation that persisted for some time. It had reached the basic painting stage, as shown below:

But try as I might, I could not get the damned thing to run smoothly. It had a bind in the mechanism that I just could not find, despite completely dismantling it a couple of time and checking it very carefully and even resetting and twiddling with the CVs on the Tsunami chip. Becoming quite discouraged I consigned it to the back of the display cupboard and got on with other projects. About six months later I returned to it and spent a couple of fruitless weeks fiddling with it, all without much success (as it turned out the problems were multiple, see below), but it did make it onto the layout for extended testing and a record shot.

I could get it to run reasonably well on the workbench on DC, but put it on the layout and it ran like a demented duck with five broken wings... I even consulted the experts (thanks Marcus!), but all to no avail. 

By October 2015, a little progress had been made after a few more complete dismantling and reassemblies and it was starting to run 'sort of OK' occasionally, so I resolved to finish off the weathering and at least finish it off cosmetically. I wanted to create a fairly clean locomotive, as per this John Stormont photo of 3607 at Cootamundra in 1954, originally printed in the January 1990 edition of the RTM's 'Round House' magazine.

This photo from mid-October 2015 shows progress at that date. I used a variety of washes of gloss blacks and some sprayed Tamiya X-19 Smoke to achieve the 'freshly blackoiled' look, but as this photo shows I still had a little detail work to do to blend all the weathering together, plus fit cabside numbers, headlight and window glass, Eveleigh builder's plate and employ a crew.

A few days later and she was visually complete, representing a clean locomotive that had at least one trip under her belt. But it still wouldn't run satisfactorily!

Fast forward to April 2017 and nothing had changed, she looked nice, but was very unreliable, running very jerkily and not being a very useful engine at all, other than as a photographic prop!

Then, a chance comment on my Facebook page set me off in another direction! At last, breakthrough! After investigating, I came to the conclusion that one of the driving wheelsets was 'out of quarter' and, after swapping over the two leading wheelsets with the driving wheels in my 'spare' 36 class, I got it to run smoothly... on the workbench!

However, once placed on the layout, it was still very unreliable, despite extra pick-ups on the tender and a 'stay-alive' chip. Another month or two passed with not much change, it would run smoothly when it chose to run, but that was not often! It was very obviously a pick-up problem, but, considering the number of extra pick-ups I had added, this should not be occurring. Perhaps the standard Austrains brass tender wheels, despite much cleaning, were the problem, so I decided to replace them with some spare nickel-silver On Track wheels sets I had on hand from the original run LLV louvred vans. Being the same axle lengths and wheel diameters, they just dropped straight in and nickel-silver is reputedly a far better conductor of electricity than is brass. That part of the exercise successfully completed, I checked them for electrical continuity with my multi-meter. The electrical continuity of one side of the tender wheels was perfect, but, on the other side, nothing! On removing the bogies and checking the joint between the wire to the chip and the wipers (hidden out of sight on top of the bogie and only visible once the bogies had been removed, something it had not occurred to me to do previously!) I discovered that the connections to both bogies had broken off! No wonder the b^%$#y thing wouldn't run! A quick resolder and back on the track and perfection, it now runs like a dream! After three years of frustration, I finally have a reliable, smooth running roundtop Pig!

The District Locomotive Superintendent is now 'over the moon', as he, at last, has a locomotive that is reliable as well as pretty to help move the traffic! 

Here she is, standing in No.1 road at New Yard with a goods train, waiting for permission to depart, alongside Cowra stalwart, 5597. (The story of how 5597, a real 'Franken55', plus the scenery on 
New Yard, came to be, will be the subjects of future posts).

Monday 31 July 2017

The 'modern era' comes to Lambing Flat: Bogie rolling stock

The Indian red diesels need something to haul, so, thanks to all the lovely r-t-r 1960s/1970s bogie rolling stock now available, it is a simple matter of pulling something out of the box, checking the couplings and wheels against the standards gauge, weathering it and putting it on the track. So easy!

Here are some details of some of the 'bogie exchange' vehicles that have joined the fleet recently.

This is an On Track Models BLF that I converted to a BLX about two years ago. I wanted a 1960s era BLX for Lambing Flat, but didn't want three of them, so I purchased a single-pack BLF from Barnes Hobbies in Newcastle and, since a broad gauge only BLF wasn't *quite* right for NSW standard gauge Lambing Flat, I spent an hour or two modifying it. First I replaced the spoked-wheel broad gauge appropriate bogies with a pair of 'bogie exchange' bogies from the spares box (from under an On Track LLV, I think), then carefully removed the 'F' from the BLF code with a toothpick moistened with Metho. When that was done I put an 'X' in its place (SEM decal sheet, I think), then covered the 'P' plates with 'X' decals from a BGB decal sheet. Then I cut some 2" x 4" timber and 'bodged up' the shunter's steps to something more closely resembling the timber version more appropriate to the period. After a couple of years in 'pristine' condition, I finally got around to weathering it, lightly, as befits my era, with airbrushed Tamiya and Aqueous Hobby Color acrylic paint. 

This is an Auscision KLY in PTC blue. It is a little late for LF's 'core' period, but I do like the KLY vans! I lightly weathered it to represent a very new vehicle that hasn't managed to acquire more than a light coating of road dust, once more with airbrushed Tamiya and Aqueous Hobby Color acrylics. However, I wasn't happy with it, as it looked a little too clean, so I came back a couple of weeks later and added some more 'dirt'. Much more as I remember them now.

In keeping with the 1970s PTC blue theme is this SDS OCY, carrying a load of RACE containers. Another one lightly weathered to represent how I remember OCYs from the 1970s. Below is another shot, this time without the containers, showing the grubby deck.

This is a pair of Orient Express Reproductions r-t-r OX SAR open wagons, fitted with tarpaulins, as the lack of interior detail does look a little strange on the layout. The vehicles themselves are straight 'out of the box', except that the far vehicle has had a red SAR logo added. The wagons were then weathered with my usual acrylic paint diluted in Isocol alcohol method and then some tarps, made from some old BGB printed foil tarps I have had 'in stock' since the early 1980s were added. The tiedowns are thread, superglued to the tarp and the vehicle. The tarps were sprayed with flat clear once they were fitted, to kill the sheen of the original BGB item. A light spray of Tamiya XF-52 Flat Earth was then 'misted' over the tarps (and the wagons) to 'tie it all together'.

This is an Austrains 'Manildra' WHX fitted with SDS exchange bogies and the black panel where the old code was added penned in with ink. The model was then sprayed with flat clear to seal the ink and then it was weathered using my standard sprayed acrylic method. I'm very pleased with the way this one has come up. Below is another shot with the yard looking very 'late 1960s'.

While not quite 'bogie exchange' vehicles, (for bogie exchange we need the GX subvariant) this pair of Eureka G wagons fill the need for high speed capable bogie open wagons on the Sydney-Melbourne corridor. Despite having been introduced in the early 1950s for coal haulage, photos of 'high wheeler' mainline trains in the 1960s show plenty of G type wagons in use and most are in pretty good condition, so these two were weathered accordingly.

Not everything new on the layout is r-t-r; the occasional kit-built model still sneaks through! This is a NSWGR BDX constructed from a AR Kits injection-moulded kit. I hadn't built an injection-moulded plastic kit for a very long time, but it had come to my attention that one major class of late steam/early diesel era rolling stock was not represented in Lambing Flat's collection, the BDX bogie open wagon. An opportune purchase at the 2017 Brisbane exhibition recently addressed that oversight and, in something like record time, the model was assembled! Of course, it isn't built as the manufacturer intended (something I never do!), but has had some extra detail added to represent the appearance of one of the 1963/1967 batch as it may have appeared towards the end of the 1960s. As I hadn't been able to find many decent photos of BDX wagons from that period while I was building it, there was a certain amount of guesswork involved and I eventually found out (after it was painted!) that the top right handrail wasn't quite in the right position! As with the rest of them, the photos I have of them in the late 1960s show them to be in quite good condition still, so it was weathered accordingly.

Of course, if one is going to run post-1966 goods trains, one should have the occasional 'red' van to put on the back. As I only had one (the Trainorama GHG with InFront Models dress-up kit I reviewed in AMRM Issue 287, April 2011), I thought it was about time I had another one, so this Trainorama MHG had the handrails and lampirons picked out in black and then lightly weathered to represent a newly rebuilt and repainted van.

However, the 'high wheelers' of the 1960s didn't only trail nice new Indian red brakevans; there were also the 1920s-built SHG vans that were fitted with new 2AE high speed bogies around 1962 to help fill a desperate shortage of brakevans capable of high speeds to run on the newly-opened 'Gauge' to Melbourne. The release of the SDS SHG/BHG brakevans gave me the opportunity to add a BHG to the collection (I already had two kit-built SHGs, so only a BHG was acquired). Unlike the other goods vehicles shown here, where I went for the fairly new, lightly weathered effect, this BHG was heavily weathered to represent the appearance of the prototypes in the 1960s. I really like the attention to detail that SDS have given to this model and I particularly like the Indian red window frames, which was so characteristic of Gunmetal grey brakevans in the late 1960s.

That's enough for now (there is a lot more to come!). Next time I will describe the huge number of new four-wheel and bogie 'intrastate' vehicles that have also joined the fleet.

Friday 28 July 2017

The 'modern era' comes to Lambing Flat: Indian red diesels.

With all the lovely r-t-r models becoming available over the last couple of years suited to the 1960s/1970s era, it has been hard to resist the temptation and stay true to Lambing Flat's 1950s steam era ambiance. In fact, it has been impossible! Especially as I have clear memories of the late 1960s and the 1970s with lots of lovely Indian red diesels and interesting bogie rolling stock rushing past on the Main South around Harden (I lived at Young until I came to Sydney in 1977).

While the steam era will always be my first love, a bit of Indian red and some 'high wheeler' bogie vehicles have started to appear on the layout.

The oldest diesel on the layout is this Traino 44 class, which has been around for well over 10 years. All the locomotives have been weathered to represent their appearance as they were in the 1960s/1970s, a bit scruffy and grubby, but not the utter decrepitude that crept in through the 1980s. They are all weathered with Tamiya and Aqueous Hobby Color acrylics, diluted in Isocol alcohol for spraying.

The second oldest diesel is this Austrains 442, but it hasn't run since 2006, as I haven't got around to fitting a chip yet.

Another diesel that has been around for a while is this Trainorama 49, which has been backdated to 1960s condition by painting out the post 1979 yellow buffers and the post 1970s silver painted handrails on the end steps. It has just been lightly weathered as, during the 1960s, Parkes Depot looked after them very well and they were always in very good condition.

My very favourite diesels are the 421, so I was very pleased when Auscision released their magnificent model, which needed no modification other than a spot of weathering. As with all the 'working' diesels, it has been fitted with a Loksound chip, in this case loaded with the sound files sold be DCC Sound in Victoria. Not only does it look fantastic, it sounds fantastic as well!

Another shot of a beautiful locomotive.

Another loco I have a definite 'soft spot' for is the 422 class. This is another Auscision model, lightly weathered to represent a loco that has only been in service for a couple of months. It is also fitted with a Loksound chip loaded with DCC Sounds' files.

Another shot of 42201, waiting to depart 'New Yard' with bogie stock. Future posts will feature more of my bogie stock and bring the 'New Yard' story up to date.

Yet another shot of 42201 in the yard (on a different day!), standing next to another recent diesel, an Auscision 45 class, a very fine example of another locomotive class that I am very fond of. 

The 45 is a little more heavily weathered, as the locomotive is in mid-1970s condition (I was too slow and missed out on a 1960s version, they were all sold out!) 

There is also a Trainorama 48 class, but that has not been weathered yet, though it trundles around quite nicely, making suitable 48 class sounds, courtesy of its DCC Sounds-loaded chip!

Steam and diesel quite happily co-exists on the layout, as can be seen here with Austrains 3610 about to be assisted out of the yard by Trainorama 4910!

The next post (whenever that might be) should feature some of the bogie rolling stock that has recently joined the roster.